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Cultural Difference – is defined as various languages, belief’s, behaviors, expressions and practices that are considered specific to an ethnicity, race, or national origin. (What is Cultural differences?) Cultural Difference is especially important in the business sector because if you have an environment that is thriving, growing, and sustainable these types of conditions invoke motivation and happier employee’s, which in the end aids in the prosperity or success of the organization or business.
Understanding the cultural factors behavior is essential because the consumption and marketing are global, efforts made by entities influence people. This paper will focus on the stereotypes that exist in the world as it pertains to eating habits.
Summary of the Issue
Food is the heart of a culture, it serves as a tool that nourishes, uplifts, brings together families, and upholds the very values, customs, and traditions of a given culture. In recent years, Food stereotypes have become a natural occurrence. These types of stereotypes serve as a systematic effort to push Black people back to societies margins. Poems, jokes, songs, tv shows, movies, etc. All depict black people eating watermelon and chicken and the message that it steady perpetuates is that Black people are childlike race, not worthy of being human or citizens, Therefore, many black people are still seen as not needing any civil rights.
Compare and Contrast the Perspective on the Issue
The two articles, I chose to use is Food and racial stereotypes, and the culture of cuisine: is food gendered? Both of the articles are similar because they tackle the topic of stereotypes as it pertains to the food that people eat, and how food embodies the very essence of an individualized culture and community.
The article Culture of Cuisine focused on the concept of food stereotypes as it pertains to gender, in the article they discuss that Americans are linked to eating more high calorie foods, such as chips, cookies and typically these comfort foods are associated with shame and guilt. This very concept is intensified for women due to societies’ high beauty standards of praising notions of thinness. We associate eating salads and vegetables to looking more thin or lean.
For example, Taylor Goethe talked about going out to dinner with her family one night, Taylor ordered steak and potatoes, her dad ordered a salad, and her brother ordered chicken alfredo pasta, When it came time to receive their order’s she says that the waiter gave her order to her dad because he automatically assumed that Steak and Potatoes is a manly meal, but when she told the waiter that was her order he gave her a confused look, he refused to give the young lady her order until her family confirmed that was her order, what was interesting about this article is how people associate specific foods to a gender, men are seen as being strong and eating foods that are high in calories, whereas women are seen eating foods that are low fat, and low calorie because they are somehow trying to preserve their small figure.
On the other hand, the article Food and racial stereotypes has more of a historical and contextual approach, it tackles the concept of Stereotypes and how Food, which is the heart of every culture is used as a weapon to demonize and add negative connotations or perceptions about a particular race or culture. This biasness serves to devalue and mock people of color.
For Instance, Black people are condemned every day for their food choices, but what many people fell to realize is that eating unhealthy does not make a person necessarily poor, but in many black communities people have poor food options due to mainly having access to only fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
The explicit issues in these articles are centered around the concepts of stereotypes, food, and how they impact people’s perceptions of cultures. Implicit issues are things that might be inaccessible from the conscious mind. For example, an implicit issue from one of the articles could be that foods such as steak is associated as a meal for only men to eat (“Taylor Synclair Goethe”).
Taking from the Emergent Literature
International business is a huge commodity now Globalization has shown that cross cultural business has significantly reshaped our environment over the past fifteen years. People around the world are increasingly working with counterparts from other countries. Implications that can be concluded from these transactions is how stereotype’s, and cultural differences can affect business relationships.
For example, when doing business in Italy many people assume that Italian’s are always late and never punctual whereas Australian’s is always on time and organized. These Implications simply create negative perceptions that can potentially affect how you think and interact with other people.
A recommendation, could be that it’s never good to assume anything about a culture based on other opinions, it is always good to remain neutral, clear minded, and open to learning about other people’s cultures because it will not only give your insight into how they operate, but it will allow you to better negotiate business with them.
Two Questions from this Analysis
- How does food create unfair bias or negative perceptions about a specific culture?
- Why is high calorie food’s such as Steak and other fatty foods associated only for men?
If we were going to find an answer to these questions, then we would need to do some research. First, you can go to the library and check out books that pertains to the concepts of Stereotypes, Food, and Culture. Secondly, Database’s is another good resource, to find journals, articles, and books that relate to the concepts of stereotypes, food associations, culture, etc.
Also, another good idea is to check out Psychology academic journals because they are good at breaking down how we perceive things and why? so maybe that would give us a better idea of how food creates negative stereotypes about cultures. Finally, look into YouTube and watching videos as it pertains to these concepts, because videos have a really good way of simplifying concepts and breaking them down into simpler terms, this will allow us to not only understand these concepts, but when answering these questions, it will allow us to be able to draw proper conclusions based on the current research.
- Taylor Synclair Goethe. (2018, December 1). The Culture of Cuisine: Is Food Gendered? Retrieved from https://reporter.rit.edu/features/culture-cuisine-food-gendered
- Denver Post. (2016, April 29). Food and racial stereotypes. Retrieved from https://www.denverpost.com/2013/08/29/food-and-racial-stereotypes/
- Communicaid Group Limited. (2011, February 3). Impact of Stereotypes on International Business: Cross Cultural Awareness is Key. Retrieved from https://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/blog/impact-of-stereotypes-on-international-business-cross-cultural-awareness-is-key/
- What is Cultural differences? HR Definitions & Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.mightyrecruiter.com/recruiter-guide/hiring-glossary-a-to-z/cultural-differences